Pflueger Fly Reels

Fly fishing is a type of angling where artificial flies are used to attract and catch fish, and it’s an extremely effective method. Anglers employ a unique casting technique since artificial flies are too light to cast the line effectively on their own.

You might be surprised at the number of anglers who don’t use the fly reel every time they fish, despite its essential role. Many anglers consider the fly reel one of the most underrated fishing tools. According to those unfamiliar with how it works, the primary purpose of flyfishing reels is simply to hold the fishing line for catching fish.

The reels used in fly fishing are single-action reels typically operated with one hand for stripping the lines, while the other hand is used for casting. Their mechanical construction has remained largely unchanged since being patented by Orvis Charles, a Vermonter.

The original fly reel designed by Orvis utilized light metal and featured perforated holes, which contributed to its lightweight design.

Fly lines dried faster with Orvis’s solid-sided reels compared to solid-sided reels. Despite advancements, fly reels still perform the same main functions as they always have, including:

  • Keeping the fishing line in storage
  • Helping to reel in a fish that’s swimming away by offering a smooth and steady resistance without any interruptions.
  • The weight of the rod should be counterbalanced when casting.

How Did Fly Reels Work?

Fly reels, the simplest fishing devices, wind the fly line and back onto the drum. The small handle on the drum wraps the fly line around it when turned sideways. The line can only be pulled out by hand.

Single-action fly fishing reels are manually operated and specifically designed for fly fishing. The spool retrieves the line at a 1:1 ratio when you turn the handle on its side. The reel not only stores the line but also assists in fighting fish that try to escape after being hooked. As fish fight harder, reels become increasingly important.

Two knobs are on the reel’s exterior for adjusting the drag and releasing the spool. During the retrieval of a caught fish, drag adjustment knobs are useful, while spool release knobs come in handy during casting.

Fly reels typically feature drag systems to prevent the arbor from spinning too fast. Simply turn the drag knob to adjust the tension and make it easier or harder to pull out the line. This helps exert pressure on the line to tire out a fish that’s swimming in the opposite direction. With a little practice, you’ll get the hang of it.

3 Best Pflueger Fly Reels

1. Pflueger Automatic Fly Reel

  • Durable and long-lasting

  • Aluminum alloy frames & spool

2. Pflueger Medalist Fly Reel

  • Precision-machined aluminum

  • Classic lightweight durability

3. Pflueger Monarch Fly Reel

  • Precision-machined aluminum

  • Classic lightweight durability

1. Pflueger Automatic Fly Reel


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Brand: Pflueger
Bearing Material:Stainless Steel
Fishing Line TypeFly
Model Name:1149987
Fishing Technique:Spinning
Handle Material:Stainless Steel

Anglers who need one-handed operation can benefit from Pflueger Automatic Fly Reels. A trigger winds the line into these reels, making them easy to use. Your other hand is free to paddle or hold another rod, and there’s no loose or tangled line to worry about.

Aluminum alloy is used for the frame and spool, while stainless steel is used for the main spring, foot, and line guard on Pflueger Automatic Fly Reels. They’re affordable, durable, and convenient.


When the trigger is pressed, the stainless steel spring recoils and collects the free line. This simple and efficient method allows for enjoyable angling without tangled lines and sore arms. With ease, the catch can be brought to the deck without bumping into obstacles.

However, there’s a slight concern about its longevity. Despite being designed for arm comfort, the weight is a bit heavier than desired. Nevertheless, the rods work well with bamboo and glass rods, which is what matters most.

Key Features

  • Catching big fish with an reel doesn’t require much effort; just pull the trigger and you’re ready to go!
  • The aluminum alloy frame and spool are paired with stainless steel main spring, foot, and line guard components.
  • An aluminum alloy structure provides durability
  • Stainless steel makes up the majority of the inner components, which seem to be durable
  • The system collects lines quickly
  • It is the perfect size for trout of medium size
  • In addition, it is a bit heavier

2. Pflueger Medalist Fly Reel


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Brand: Pflueger
Bearing Material:Aluminum
Item Weight:220 Grams
Fishing Line Type:Fly
Model Name:MED34X
Fishing Technique:Spinning
Handle Material:Aluminum

A re-launch of one of the most distinctive fly reels in American history, the Medalist Fly Reel. With the Medalist, there is now a truly measurable standard for quality in fly fishing.

It’s important to consider how much the company knows about making fishing gear. As technology gets better, they come up with a totally new reel that has cool new stuff and a fresh look. It should meet what you need.

This reel made entirely of machined aluminum and equipped with a pawl system that offers multiple positions is truly exceptional. What you’re seeing is a modern classic indeed.

With the Pflueger Medalist, you can properly take advantage of both of these features. High-grade machined billets are used for the aluminum extrusion throughout. Additionally, the frame and spool are machined to a high degree of precision.

This approach allows for more controlled fly casting. Besides offering ample backing capacity, the standard arbor design also ensures spool stability. An easy-to-use click and pawl system ensures precise click checking on the fly reel.

The significance of this cannot be overstated. It’s crucial to understand that fly fishing demands the utmost control and balance.

To uphold the highest standards and improve your chances of catching fish, it’s essential to cast the fly precisely where it needs to be.

Key Features

  • The frame and spool are machined from high-quality precision aluminum.
  • Arbor features a high-capacity spool capable of holding a substantial amount of backing.
  • Precision click-check mechanism with click and pawl system.
  • Classic lightweight durability featuring a polymer handle.
  • It’s a convertible retrieve that can be used with either the left or right hand.
  • Lightweight, durable, and easy to use
  • It can be used by both right-handed and left-handed people due to its convertible retrieve
  • For added convenience, the spool can be released quickly
  • It shares a great deal of its design with older models-it isn’t as advanced as it should be
  • The flexibility isn’t as good as you’d like

3. Pflueger Monarch Fly Reel


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Brand: Pflueger
Hand Orientation:‎Ambidextrous
Fishing Line TypeFly
item Weight5 Ounces
Model Name:MON56X
Fishing Technique:Spinning
Handle Material:Aluminum

Fly reels should be easy to use, reliable and reasonably priced to ensure a successful introduction to fly fishing.

The Pflueger Monarch Fly Reel is the top choice for fly fishing. It’s simple and easy to use, making it perfect for beginners. You can trust it to work smoothly and boost your confidence while fishing.

It’s the perfect choice for beginners because of its lightweight and durable aluminum construction, sturdy polymer handles, standard arbor sizes, quick-release spools for easy line changes, and ability to switch between left- and right-handed retrieval.

The 3/4 and 5/6 models feature a crisp click-and-pawl drag mechanism, while the 7/8 models come with a smooth stacked disc drag mechanism, perfect for tackling larger fish.

Pflueger Monarch Fly Reels provide everything an aspiring fly angler needs to turn their interest into a lifelong passion.

Key Features

  • The reel is made of a lightweight, sturdy, and durable die-cast aluminum alloy.
  • The spool features a standard arbor with a high backing capacity.
  • The Mon3/4 and Mon5/6 models feature a precision click check mechanism with a click and pawl design.
  • A smooth stacked disc drag is available only for the Mon7/8 and MON56X models.
  • Made of High quality aluminium.
  • Lighter in weight.
  • It is extremely durable
  • Beginners need to get skilled to use it successfully

What Things You should Considered When Buying Fly Reels?

Trout fishing reels come in numerous models but not all are ideal for trout fishing. Factors such as the size of the fish you’re targeting, the length of the line required, and the weight of the rod should influence your reel selection.

To select the right fly reel for you, consider its size carefully. Ensure that the reel can accommodate sufficient fly lines and backing for the rod you’ve chosen.

The reel you require will vary based on the action level of your rod, whether it’s a light-action or heavier rod. Larger reels are necessary to handle the increased weight of heavier rods.

1. Price

Price is often an indicator of a fly reel’s quality. However, there are many good fly reels available at reasonable prices that don’t require a significant investment.

A price range of around $100 is reasonable for many quality reels. However, avid anglers who prioritize fishing may need to invest upwards of $900 for a high-end fly reel.

2. Arbor Size

In addition to the arbor size, the quality and price of a fly reel are influenced by it. A larger spool can hold more line, which is crucial for fishing large trout.

While a larger spool makes the reel lighter, it also adds weight and occupies more space. All reels feature a conventional spindle in the middle for attaching and winding the line. Winding line and backing onto a reel typically requires numerous turns.

Medium and large arbors enable quicker line winding. Large arbor reels, especially beneficial for saltwater fly fishing, have a significantly larger diameter, allowing them to wind line three times faster than small arbor reels.

Small traditional reels are well-suited for trout fishing due to their lightweight nature and seamless integration with light trout rods. Moreover, mid-sized arbors are gaining popularity among trout anglers.

In addition to the reel’s size, its quality and price are also influenced by it. Larger reels have a few drawbacks, such as being heavier and taking up more space, but they also tend to offer more features and durability compared to smaller ones. Your choice of reel size ultimately depends on the type of fishing you plan to do, so take the time to consider your personal preferences carefully.

3. Material

Fly reels are available in various materials, each offering distinct features to consider. Anodized aluminum is the most prevalent material in modern fly reels due to its lightweight yet sturdy nature.

Stainless steel, magnesium, and carbon fiber are also utilized in reel construction, each with its own set of advantages and disadvantages.

The material used in making fly reels also impacts their quality and price. Typically, an aluminum reel is less expensive compared to a titanium or carbon fiber reel.

Without proper care, aluminum can be susceptible to corrosion over time. While titanium and carbon fiber reels come at a higher cost, they offer greater durability.

4. Drag System

As the fish takes the line from the reel, a drag system applies pressure to keep the fish under control. This helps prevent the line from breaking, increasing the chances of successfully landing the fish.

IHaving a reliable drag system is crucial, as it enables you to apply varying pressures as required. When battling a fish, it’s essential to have a drag system that allows you to adjust the spool resistance. Many moderate to high-end reels utilize disc drag systems, which come in various configurations.

The friction generated by adjusting the disc drag knob depends on its tightness and the materials of the discs, often self-lubricating. This aspect is less crucial in trout fishing, as unless it’s a substantial trout making a long run, the fish typically won’t pull much line from the reel.

Nevertheless, when trout fishing, maintaining a proper drag setting is crucial to protect your tippet, even if the fish doesn’t pull a significant amount of line from the reel.

5. Size Guide

When selecting fly reels for trout fishing, consider the type of water you’ll be fishing in. Choose a drag-adjustable reel to prevent your line from being pulled from the reel in fast-moving water. For calm water, go for a reel with a less aggressive drag setting.

When it comes to fly reels, there is a range of 3 to 12 weights available. As a general rule, match the weight of your fly reel with the weight of your rod. For example, if you purchased a 5-weight fly rod, choose a fly reel that can handle line weights between 4 and 6.

The following guide outlines how to select the appropriate fly reel according to the type of fish and fishing activity:

Reel Size ( Weight)Type Of Fish
3-4Small trout
5Average trout/ Typical fly fishing
6-7Bass/ Streamer fishing
8-9Bass, Pike, Large Sea Trout, Steelhead
10-12Tarpon/ Large saltwater fish

Fly fishing reels come in various sizes, and the size you choose should correspond to the line weight. A larger reel is necessary to prevent the line from spinning out when casting heavier lines, whereas a smaller reel can suffice for casting lighter lines.

Your setup will perform better if you choose a reel that matches the weight of the line you’re using, avoiding lines that are either too light or too heavy for optimal performance.

Balancing The Fly Reel, Rod & Line

In addition to understanding how fly fishing reels operate, it’s crucial to know how to match the right rod and line with the appropriate fly reel.

Matching the numbers of the fly reel, rod, and line is essential for creating a balanced fly fishing setup, which is relatively straightforward. For example, with a 4/5/6 reel, you can spool a 5wt line using either a 4/5/6 or a 4wt or 5wt line. Refer to the following table for further guidance on reel, rod, and line matching:

General freshwaterSize: 4/5/6/7Weight:4/5/6/7Weight: 4/5/6/7 Length: 8-9.5 inches
TroutSize:4/5/6Weight:4/5/6Weight: 4/5/6 Length: 8-9 inches
PanfishSize: 4/5/6Weight: 4/5/6Weight:4/5/6 Size: 8-9 inches
BassSize: 7/8/9Weight: 7/8/9Weight: 7/8/9 Size: 8.5- 9.5 inches
PikeSize: 8/9/10Weight: 8/9/10Weight: 8/9/10 Size: 8.5-9.5 inches
SalmonSize: 7/8/9Weight: 8/9/10Weight: 7/8/9 Size: 8.5-9.5 inches
SteelheadSize: 8/9/10Weight: 7/8/9Weight: 8/9/10 Length: 9- 10 inches

Frequently Asked Questions

Below are the most commonly asked questions about fly reels, their weight, and the appropriate size selection:

Q. How Do You Pick a Fly Reel?

Selecting a fly reel should be based on personal preferences, as there is no one perfect option. Several factors should be considered when purchasing a reel, including its weight, size, drag system, and price.

Fly reels can often be heavier than they appear, so it’s important to consider this when making your selection. Heavier reels are typically stronger and more durable, making them better suited for handling larger fish. On the other hand, lighter reels are easier to carry around, providing greater convenience during fishing trips.

Indeed, lighter reels may sacrifice durability. Depending on your intended fishing style and the weight of your rod, it’s crucial to consider both factors when selecting a reel.

Q. Does Fly Reel Weight Matter?

For fly fishing to work well, you need a fly line that matches the weight of the rod. This helps you cast better and farther.

The size of a fly reel is important. Depending on your rod size and the type of fish you’re after, you’ll need a reel that suits your needs. For trout fishing rods, which typically range from 6 to 8 weights, you’ll want a reel that matches this weight range.

Q. Can Fly Reels Reel Backward?

The process for changing direction may differ depending on the manufacturer, but most fly reels are reversible. For example, a left-handed angler typically uses their right hand for reeling and their left hand for casting.

Reversible reels can be used by both right-handed and left-handed anglers because they can reverse the reeling direction.

Q. Do Fly Fishing Reels Have a Drag?

In modern budget fly reels, you can expect a decent disc drag system. However, high-end options offer even more reliable disc-drag systems, surpassing the traditional pawls-and-springs mechanisms. These advanced systems ensure smooth operation, allowing the line to leave the reel smoothly.

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